This past week, I was communicating with someone I met at a local SEO networking event I used to participate in.  I’ve been fortunate that I’ve met many people who’ve seem to have remembered what I’ve told them and could see how passionate I was about sharing the information and my approach to online marketing.  The gentleman asked for help, but had a very typical request: help me with SEO even though I have a limited budget.  This is the response (for the most part) that I gave him and he appreciated.  He called it a “reality check” which I think we all need to realize:

Dear Client,

Frankly, the SEO market has become a very “interesting landscape” to say the least since Feb/March of this year (2012).
SEO requires either more effort, money or time than most people have these days.  The larger players and brands are going to do much better because they have all 3.  The smaller guys in the business still can do a bit of damage, but it will take a very concerted effort that will require one, if not 3 of the things that you need to succeed.
Also, the google update(Penguin) has also created a lot of problems for many businesses which are having an impossible time fixing their situations if they did any link building that google felt was improper.  So, their situations are quite complex and require much more of the 3 aforementioned, but very few are willing to increase any of the 3 to alleviate their respective situations.
Many people usually lose patience trying to do all 3 and end up simply finding other marketing channels.

The real estate market is tough – very tough to be frank.  And it’s going to be somewhat difficult to find someone who’s good enough who will dedicate what it takes to get you to the top 3 positions without the budget or the other 2 things: time and effort.  I’m happy to help anyone to any degree, but again, most people usually end up lacking one of the 3 and as a result, it just becomes a somewhat wasted or inefficient effort.

Anyone who charges less is usually going to give you limited time, effort or put in the resources to get you the things you want that make a difference – the inbound links in particular.  The keyword research isn’t too hard to do and can be done relatively easily.  But the biggest impact will be in the inbound links and if you can, exercising as much as you can on the social media front as well.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, this advice has to be heeded.

SEO is not easy.  Actually, it’s a lot of work if done properly.  I spent countless nights trying to get our site to #1 where it was sitting for key terms like “Seattle SEO” and “SEO Seattle” for more than 2 years.  I’ve recently taken a 6 month+ hiatus with placing significant effort in bolstering it’s position, but it still sits in the top positions.  It should possibly decrease over time.

We’ve gained new top spots for key phrases like “most searched on google” (#2) and “top google searches” (#6) or even “what is the most searched thing on google” (#1).  These have bolstered our traffic to as high as 1285 visits in a single day in the first week of December.  They are mostly due to our great post which was a 3+ year project analyzing the top phrases being searched on google.  It definitely wasn’t an overnight project.

If you can take the advice from someone who’s seen quite a bit, it takes diligence and preserverance.  And it definitely takes a bit of time, effort and money.  Please don’t forget that…the impatience and lack of appreciation for these has resulted in many SEO’s being a lot less focused on quality.  And if you don’t focus on quality, the long term success simply won’t be there.

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Lastly, just two more reminders, but frequency and recency are also 2 items to constantly shoot for with your websites as well!

One thought on “3 Most Important Realistic Pieces of Advice for SEO Success

  1. Creativity goes a long way if you are short on money, but are willing to put in the time and effort.

    It seems like the constants in SEO are great content that is updated frequently and organic inbound links that look natural, not manufactured. Both take a lot of market research to fulfill.

    I guess in a nutshell, content is king and get inbound links with no preservatives.

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